We keep radical unschooling because we believe that our children are autonomous beings capable of making choices that affect their lives and improve their self concept. We keep radical unschooling because raising children with an authoritarian parenting style makes me disheartened for all the children out there suffering at the hands of a dictatorship style of parenting. We keep radical unschooling because even if my beliefs were more mainstream, my kids' needs certainly are not. We keep radical unschooling because happiness, learning, honoring unique needs is just who we are. We keep radical unschooling because we keep living and learning.
As we learn. we evolve and that growth determines the trajectory of our day, week, month and year until it doesn't because our lifestyle takes so many twists and turns. Just when you think you have a flow to your unschooling journey, kids and life will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, change and stagnation all at once. I am constantly reevaluating what our rhythm is and how creative, productive and happy we are. Generally, our life works well for us but there certainly are moments that make you question everything. That is fine. Questioning is welcomed in the house of autonomy. We don't adhere to any status quo. My kids are definitely showing me who I am. My strong-will and odd quirks, which have always been a lot to take for some, emanate from my bizarre and complex progeny. The more complex the child, the more likely alternative education will be the only available choice. What happens when you head down this path; however, is once you appreciate the freedom to do that which pleases you, then the idea of going back to anything institutionalized seems terrifying and counterintuitive. Suddenly believing in the system of school is not a likely outcome once you delve into true, interest led learning.
When you no longer believe in resorting to bribes to affect behavior and the thought of grades and standardized test measures make you cringe, then unschooling becomes a welcomed choice. When you have ditched rewards and punishments as a way to get children to comply and you do not believe that adults have all the power, then mainstream parenting and educational choices cease to resonate. You will never see optimal performance, learning or interest when a child is apathetic to a task. Meaningful learning only happens when it is intrinsically motivated not coerced or rewarded with a grade or other external motivator. A child has to want to do the work and be interested in it. Scolding a kid into doing something they do not care about has both short term and long term negative effects. Forcing a child to do academic work on your terms in a rushed and punitive manner is not only going to push the child away from natural learning but it will also negatively affect the parent child relationship. When you no longer believe that any adult should be able to exert control over your child or try to coerce them into doing or believing something just because that adult wants them to, then radical unschooling naturally becomes a way of life. I question everything I used to believe in. I am constantly unschooling myself and learning how important it is to provide children with unconditional love which is much easier to practice when I am the primary influencer in my children's lives. So, we keep radical unschooling because that is who we are and this is our life.
This post is part of a blog hop. Follow me @amygharrington or FB Amy Golden Harrington